Parliament agreed on Wednesday to simplify authorization procedures for novel foods, which include insects and nanomaterials, but also fungi, algae and new dyes. The report was adopted with 359 votes in favor, 202 against, and 127 abstentions. The text has yet to be approved by the Council.
The European regulation currently in force dates from 1997, date from which there has been a great evolution in the sector of new foods and their ingredients. The revision of these regulations is therefore necessary to keep up to date with scientific and technological advances.
New foods include, for example, insects and nanomaterials, but also fungi, algae and new dyes. These are foods recently developed, innovative, or for which new technologies and production processes have been used. Food from outside the European Union is also classified as new.
New foods, under future regulations, would be subject to safety assessments and a harmonized European authorization procedure. The European Food Safety Authority should carry out an assessment in each case in which a food may affect human health.
As the MEPs claimed, the proposed regulation would include food derived from cloned animals until specific legislation is adopted on the matter, and a new definition of nanomaterials, as well as restrictions on animal experimentation.